Optimizing Commercial Floors for Safety

Commercial floor matsA few weeks ago, we mentioned a study by CNA Financial Corp. that found that 50% of workplace floors did not meet the criteria for sufficient friction on the floor compared to a baseline set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). That is 50% of the floors tested in different industries were too slippery.

We talked about what you can do to make your floors safer. Since safety is so important, today we want to talk about optimizing your commercial floors for safety.

  1. Select a flooring that isn’t slippery. There is something called a coefficient of friction, which is a measurement of how resistant a floor is to slipping. The higher the coefficient, the less slippery the floor is. If you are installing new flooring in your commercial space, choose a flooring that is less slippery.

In the US and Canada, new standards are being implemented in which all commercial flooring will be graded and labeled with a “traction scale.” Do your homework, and find out what the traction scale or coefficient of friction is for the flooring you are contemplating.

  1. Footwear makes a difference. No matter what kind of flooring you choose or have, the type of footwear your employees wear makes a difference with how slippery the floor is.

For example, socks are almost always more slippery on a floor than barefoot. You cannot control what visitors or customers wear on their feet, but you can control what your employees are wearing. A simple house rule that employees are never allowed in sock-covered or stockinged feet would increase your overall in-house safety. (Being barefoot has better traction than with socks or stockings.) Obviously, it would be uncommon for employees to be without shoes. However, in case of emergency, let them know that barefoot is better than socks or stockings.

  1. Put mats down in wet areas. Water almost always makes a floor more slippery. Have mats on hand to put down in the case of inclement weather, so that people entering your premises are not bringing water in. We have special Waterhog Mats designed to absorb a lot of water. Or put these types of mats down in your kitchen area. Water spilled on the floor is just as slippery as water tracked in.

Making your workplace safer doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Flooring choices, footwear rules, and mats go a long way to helping you do the right thing.

Do you have other questions? It’s easy to contact us, and we’re happy to help you. You can always call us at (877) 333-1018 or email us at sales@eaglemat.net for more information or if you aren’t sure what you need.